What Is Included, and What Isn't

In order to maximize the usefulness of the catalogue, it includes:

  • Compositions for which Frescobaldi’s authorship is secure;
  • Compositions for which the credibility of the attribution to Frescobaldi ranges from probable, through possible, to doubtful;
  • Compositions that are unquestionably spurious, but some of which nevertheless have been widely published, arranged, and performed under Frescobaldi’s name;
  • Compositions which survive anonymously, but which are transmitted in copies either in Frescobaldi’s own hand or in the hands of his identified assistants (Nicolò Borbone and Leonardo Castellani), and which in the view of several Frescobaldi scholars should be accepted among his authenticated or probable works;
  • Adaptations or transcriptions by Frescobaldi of works or selected passages by other composers;
  • Adaptations of Frescobaldi works or selected passages by other early (pre-1800) composers;
  • Compositions that are lost but that are mentioned in the early literature.
These categories are distinguished by the entry in the Composer field (e.g., “Frescobaldi (probably)”), and/or the F number assigned to the work (see The F Numbers).

The catalogue includes all known sources, both manuscripts and early editions, from before c. 1800, even sources that appear to be exact copies of earlier sources, as well as sources that are reported in the literature but that appear to have vanished (for instance, those believed to have been lost during World War II). For compositions for which no known sources from before 1800 exist, the earliest sources dating after that year are included.

Modern Editions
“Modern” in this context signifies “after c.1800.” Thus the somewhat arbitrary distinction is made of calling scores dating from before 1800 “sources,” and those dating after 1800 “modern editions.” While in theory an “edition” of a work attributed to Frescobaldi could exist in either printed or manuscript form, nineteenth- and twentieth-century manuscript copies dating from after 1800 (occasionally encountered in library collections) are not included, unless they qualify as “earliest known source.” Of the numerous editions published in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries editions, the following were chosen to be included:
  • Scholarly editions that aim to present the composer’s complete works or some sub-set thereof, such as the keyboard works, or the madrigals;
  • Editions of works not (or not yet) included in the complete works editions;
  • A selected number of earlier editions, mostly from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, considered of interest for Frescobaldi reception history or period performance practice;
  • Facsimile editions of early sources.
Not included are:
  • Works in modern vocal or keyboard anthologies;
  • All other modern adaptations for piano, organ, guitar, etc. (but see also The Frescobaldi Legacy);
  • Practical editions of ensemble works for recorders, wind or brass ensembles, etc.
Citations of literature are provided both for compositions and for sources. To avoid duplication, references cited in a source record are not cited again in the records of the compositions within that source. An exception is made when a reference contains specific information or discussion of a particular composition.. Generally speaking, citations are limited to the recent scholarly literature (in English, French, German, or Italian), and to items that present useful or interesting information not duplicated elsewhere.

What is not included.
Below are various features that after due consideration we decided not to include in the FTCO, either because their inclusion would at this time not have been practical, or because their potential usefulness was not deemed sufficient to warrant their inclusion. Their addition could be certainly be considered for future versions of the FTCO, if a strong expression of interest is received from its users.
The current version of the FTCO does not provide:
  • Capability of searching scores for themes or motifs..
    Search strategies for identifying musical compositions are suggested in How to Use the FTCO. A simple Thematic Locator, which would permit a search of imitative subjects or dance tunes by entering a sequence of pitch classes (e.g., AAGFGEDE for Corrente prima, F 2.17), could be added in the future.
  • Sound files of incipits.
    Sound files of the incipits, in the form of MIDI files or––if anyone volunteers to record them––of live performances, could possibly be added if such a feature is thought to be useful.
  • Digital images of sources.
    At this time, digital images of a few sources can be accessed on line (addresses are provided under Notes). Several libraries have projects underway to digitize sources in their collection, and as these become available, references will be added to the database.
  • Locations of exemplars of printed sources.
    These locations (for some publications well over forty) are reported in RISM (AI, BI and BII), Hammond (1983), Mischiati (1983), Darbellay (1988), and Hammond (2002), even if none is quite complete. This information could conceivably be added to the FTCO without much effort.
  • A database of the scribes contributing to the Frescobaldi manuscripts.
    Jeanneret has published an online database of seventeenth-century scribes, including handwriting samples (Roma 1600). Much additional information is provided in her 2009 study (Jeanneret, 2009).
  • Discography.
    Recordings are released and withdrawn at an increasingly rapid rate. Hammond (2002) contains an extensive international list of fine recordings, although many of these may no longer be easy to obtain. However, the Internet has made discographies nearly superfluous. Numerous websites can assist with discovering what recordings of certain works are available, either for mail order or downloading.
  • Full, searchable texts of all the Frescobaldi works.
    Maybe some day…but for now the Opere Complete will have to suffice.